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Quality of (second) life

Plurk, a micro-blogging service widely used by Second Life residents, is more known for the self-praising and occasional drama spurs than for its rational adult conversations. Yet, this morning, Kriss Lehmann, owner of Botanical garden store, started an interesting discussion, advising fellow creators to slow down their participation in SL events for the sake of making money and to start concentrating in what he thinks is more important to SL: quality control. From his point of view as a creator, trying to be in too many events logically lowers the time you have to dedicate to the creation of a product that will stand by the quality of your brand and its reputation. Less time also means not pushing yourself to do the best to surpass your own know-how as an artist, learning new tricks in the process to better the trade. He goes to the point of saying some well-known stores are degrading their production by tricking themselves (not the customers) because of this “frenziness” in meeting deadlines for SL events.

Now, let me tell you this, SL content creators: We customers do notice when quality goes down, and we take “corrective measures”: we stop buying from those that don’t meet our expectations. I don’t know if creators participating in a hundred SL events at a time check their transactions to see who’s buying from them regularly (that would be planning on building loyal customers), but if they do, it wouldn’t be a surprise to find a random list of names that are usually unique. Do you know what I mean?

You can read the entire discussion by following THIS URL (make sure to click on “more responses” to read it in full). But before you head out, let me share a few ideas for content creators:

  • Some customers take deadlines more “seriously” than others, and don’t buy products from coming soon content creators when they abuse that mantra. When you can’t meet a deadline we tend to think you aren’t committed enough to the event you’re supposed to support, even being irresponsible to your potential customers for not showing up in due time.
  • When quality goes down, I’m sure you, as a creator, know it. Selling low-quality products by your own standards is trying to fool your customers, and let me tell you this: we do notice, and then you won’t have our money again.
  • Events are promotion opportunities for store owners, but for event organizers it’s their way of making money. The more events they plan, the more money they make. Do you realize that? What do you think events and event organizers would be or do without you? If you fall so easily to their lure and things keep going at a pace you can’t rightfully keep, you’re not giving yourself the respect you deserve. Or do you think there would be so many events if it weren’t for your creations? Take control of the situation; don’t let them command you so easily.
  • The more releases there are, the less we customers enjoy them. We can’t keep up with you, we can’t keep spending so much money because that human invention has never come out of thin air nor from Linden money trees.
  • Lately, it’s becoming too obvious that content creators that are able to participate in many simultaneous events do so because they’re just recycling ideas, from their own or other sources they take inspiration from. And again, we customers spot that too. It’s the same products time and again; maybe they change a texture or add a negligible detail, but it’s still the same chair, the same bench, the same “collection” of cushions and pillows, the same bottles or pots with flowers of a variant color… We notice and then we stop buying too.
  • You may not know it but we are fully aware when five content creators suddenly come up with the same mesh item, each claiming originality (we know you got it from an online repository), with textures we’ve seen before (yeah, we know you got them online too).
  • Something extra, but related: I tend to “reward” those store owners that also have an inworld presence, not merely a marketplace page. I think those with inworld stores also care for SL itself. So they’re not only trying to make a living, but maintaining alive the world they cash from. True fans will rush to buy new products regardless of where you launch that new article. If you’re not able to make enough from main store releases, then you’re failing at marketing.
  • Similarly, some content creators claim people don’t visit inworld stores anymore or don’t like main store releases; that they prefer one-place events. That’s because you accustomed them to that kind of shopping experience, it’s not the other way around. Customers get used to what you give them. People are lazy by nature, so they will always go for the easiest/simplest alternative. That’s why they say they prefer event releases (because they don’t have to TP to each store), but then you’ll hear them complaining about the lag in that event, about not being able to get in after a thousand attempts, cursing failed transactions, grumbling about crashing constantly, and so on. Does that happen so often with store releases?
  • If you start failing in SL as a content creator, I will seriously urge you to check your first life: that one may be starting to miss the best of you too. A good second life requires maintaining a balance between both worlds. Breaking down in SL may mean your performance in the first one is also starting to miss the rhythm.
  • Lastly, I want to make it clear: Buying a product and giving you some of my lindens, is recognizing your work, skills, abilities, talent, originality and efforts as an artist, and hence crediting the quality of your crafting. For me, shopping in SL is not merely buying an item for the sake of owning it because it looks good; buying is rewarding the creator for his or her good work, and I don’t give prizes to people who only want to make easy money.